Monday, February 07, 2011

Belittling Egypt

Over a century ago, Americans were wowed by belly dancers called Little Egypt who did the Hoochee-Coochee for the yokels' amazement.

Now, with the real Egypt in upheaval, the Far Right has gone into its ritual dance to blame Barack Obama and show themselves as insular rubes to the point that even conservative guru William Kristol is disgusted:

"When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

"Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it’s a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition."

Kristol fails to mention his friend Sarah Palin as part of the pack, resurrecting Hillary Clinton's campaign "3 a.m. White House phone call," and asserting that the "call went right to the answering machine.”

Beyond all this "Dancing with the Stars" fluff, there is a complex diplomatic dance in which the Obama Administration is taking steps to ease out Mubarak and avert chaos while bending over backwards to avoid the appearance of meddling in another country's domestic affairs.

The choreography may be a bit slipshod but so far, so good, no thanks to the likes of Dick Cheney, who emerges to eulogize the three-decade dictator as "a good man, a good friend and ally to the United States."

When Mubarak finally goes, let's hope he has the sense to step off the stage in favor of whatever passes for democracy in Egypt and, unlike our own self-chosen former VP, stop tap-dancing for the TV cameras and embarrassing his successors.

In this tense time, it's heartening to see all but the fringe Right of the American political spectrum in unison.

Update: Newt Gingrich pops in to shimmy and shake over Egypt by calling the Obama Administration "amateurish."

His authority: John Bolton, who wants to bomb everybody, proclaiming "it's inconceivable that they would be this clumsy and this out of sync."

If Gingrich is planning to run next year, he should do better than getting advice from the man who couldn't be confirmed as W's ambassador to the UN, after proclaiming "There is no such thing as the United Nations."

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